Cricket

Bangladesh vs Australia: Steve Smith says Test series is an opportunity to improve record in Asia

  • Reuters
  • August 20th, 2017
  • 16:25:32 IST

Dhaka: Australia have an opportunity to improve their record in Asia when they meet Bangladesh in a two-Test series starting next Sunday, captain Steve Smith has said but refused to state outright if his side were favourites to win.

Australia have won just two of their 22 Tests in Asia in the last 10 years while Bangladesh drew a two-Test series 1-1 against England last year and pose a serious challenge at home with throes of spinners in their side on turning pitches.

"I think it is going to be a great series," Smith told reporters after Australia's arrival in the Asian country. "Bangladesh are very good here. I am not picking a favourite.

Australia Test captain Steve Smith speaks during a news conference in Dhaka. AP

Australia Test captain Steve Smith speaks during a news conference in Dhaka. AP

"We have to be confident in our skill set and hopefully we can get our processes right and have a really good series."

Earlier this year Smith's side lost a four-Test series in India 2-1 and the skipper said the two matches against Bangladesh would be an ideal platform to show what they had learned from the defeat.

"We'd certainly like to have done a lot better on the subcontinent that's for sure," Smith said. "Now it is an opportunity for us to change (our record).

"I thought we did some things really well in India. We just needed to do it for little bit longer, and consistently.

"This is another opportunity to showcase our skills, show what we learned over there and hopefully give our best foot forward."

Australia surprisingly dropped Steve O'Keefe, 32, from their squad for Bangladesh even after the left-arm spinner impressed during the series in India.

O'Keefe, with 19 wickets, was Australia's joint highest wicket-taker with Nathan Lyon in India but had to make way for left-arm spinner Ashton Agar. Australia also have uncapped 23-year-old leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson in their squad.

"It is unlucky," Smith said. "He did very well in the first Test match in India and had some contributions throughout in the other three Test matches as well."

Smith said the inclusion of Agar, 23, was aimed at developing him for the 2021 tour of India.

"We just see it as a bit of a time to get us someone new into the group," Smith said.

"Ashton has been around the group for a quite a while now, he's worked on his art and he's becoming a lot more consistent in what he's doing. It'd be fantastic to see him get an opportunity.

"It's four years until we next go to India which is always a tough tour for us and one that I particularly as captain want to win (at some stage) throughout my tenure.

"It's an opportunity for Ashton to get some experience in these conditions and hopefully improve, with an eye to the next time we go to India as well."

Updated Date: August 20, 2017 16:25:32 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

India vs England: Washington Sundar ruled out of Test series due to finger injury, says report
First Cricket News

India vs England: Washington Sundar ruled out of Test series due to finger injury, says report

Washington is the third player after Shubman Gill and Avesh Khan to be ruled out of the tour.

India vs England: Important to stay patient, wait for my turn, says KL Rahul
First Cricket News

India vs England: Important to stay patient, wait for my turn, says KL Rahul

The last time Rahul was seen competing in the whites was in 2019 against the West Indies. Rahul said he used the time to reflect on his game.